Monday, 7 December 2009

Day packs

There are several schools of thought here - some people prefer to cram everything into some sort of tiny hipbelt, others like to carry a full overnight bag, sometimes even stuffing it full of bricks "for training", others like a camel pack, or is it a bladder, or a camel bladder. Well, each to their own taste.

The usual compromise is to get something like a 20l day pack, which is big enough for your basic day kit and also doubles as a handy school or varsity book bag. Not a bad option, but not very individual.

On day hikes I prefer to eat well, carry lots of water, a bulky camera, map, 1st aid kit, and a few warm and waterproof alternatives in case the Cape mountains pull a fast one and it ends up snowing in mid summer. I gave up trying to fit all this kit into a traditional 20l day pack, mainly because I don't like carrying something that feels like a lead soccerball on straps.

My current day pack is an aged Karrimor Epic 35, which is a comfortable teardrop-shaped bag with plenty of space and some handy features like exterior mesh pockets. I use the Epic as hand baggage on overseas trips. It's big enough to fit a laptop inside, in the laptop briefcase, nogal.

My current favourite daypack is the K-Way Kilimanjaro, which my wife uses. It's a medium size daypack with a light frame to allow air to circulate between the pack and your back.

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